Step-Parent Adoption

Minnesota Step-Parent Adoption

In many Minnesota families, children have step-parents who play a crucial role in their lives. Particularly in situations where a custodial parent remarries and the non-custodial parent is mostly, if not entirely, absent from the child's life, the step-parent fills the role of that absent parent. For any number of reasons, a step-parent may wish to be the legal parent of the child. Through this process the step-parent will attain all the rights, responsibilities and duties as if the child were born to the step-parent.

Attorney Stephanie J. Sternke can explain the legal process involved in a step-parent adoption and how she can assist you in making the process a smooth one.

In order to achieve a step-parent adoption in Minnesota, the child must first be available to be adopted. To be available for adoption, the non-custodial biological parent must consent to the adoption by voluntarily terminating their parental rights. If the non-custodial parent agrees to the adoption the step-parent may petition the court for adoption. In cases where the child is 14 years of age or older, the child must also consent to the adoption. If the non-custodial parent does not consent to the adoption, the step-parent may petition the court to terminate the non-custodial parent's parental rights, in limited circumstances.

Minnesota also requires the step-parent be a resident of the state of Minnesota, and that a post-placement adoption study be completed. Both requirements may be waived by the court upon application to the court showing that a waiver serves the best interest of child.

Contact attorney Stephanie J. Sternke for a consultation regarding your step-parent adoption case.